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Old 02-25-2011, 10:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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BJ Penn a top fighter??

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The other day I was talking to someone who has known BJ Penn for a long time and who compared him to Mike Tyson, not because he is a pigeon fancier, or broke, or mentally ill, but because there was a time when Tyson ran his own camp and consequently found himself among people who lacked the knowledge or standing to force him to work harder than he wanted to, and make sound choices. A fighter who never hears the word no is one certain not to live up to his gifts.
Among those from whom Penn doesn't hear that word often enough, it seems, are the UFC officials who have deemed his upcoming fight against Jon Fitch a title eliminator. This is fair enough in the sense that if Penn can actually take out Fitch, one of the three best welterweights in the world, he'll deserve a chance at the 170-pound championship. But you have to wonder just why he's near an eliminator at all.
Anyone who points out that Penn is something like the Nolan Ryan of fighting, someone whose legend is out of all proportion to what he's actually done because of the way he's done it, is sure to hear from a lot of angry people. Since I don't like to read emails written by people quivering with rage I won't do that, but I will ask you to consider a few facts.
Penn's last significant win at welterweight, his upset of Matt Hughes at UFC 46, came more than seven years ago. When the night began, George W. Bush was still in his first term in office, the Boston Red Sox hadn't won a World Series since 1918, and Georges St-Pierre had fought once in the UFC.
He also has a nearly unrivaled knack for losing significant fights. Of his 11 title fights, he's won fewer than half of them. One can say that he broke his rib in this fight, or that he caught bad decision in that one, but injuries and sketchy judging are a part of fighting. Great fighters are supposed to overcome them.
Most important, Penn is not actually a welterweight. This week, he said that he currently weighs about 165 pounds. Fitch, who's lost size recently due to adopting a pescetarian diet, weighs about 20 pounds more than that, an advantage he'll carry into the cage. Granting that their skills are, in the abstract, about equal, Fitch's extra weight is enough to make a great difference in the fight, especially given that his game is all about his punishing top control.
To get an idea of how badly disadvantaged Penn is at 170 pounds, forget his .500 record in the weight class and just look at what he's actually done there, as compared to what he's done in the 155-pound class.
At lightweight, Penn has outstruck his opponents 682-384, secured 26 takedowns to their 18, attempted eight submissions to their four, and passed guard 42 times while having his passed just seven. That's the record of a dominant fighter, an all-time great.
At welterweight, Penn has been outstruck 193-100, been taken down nine times while taking his opponents down twice, attempted five submissions while never having one tried on him, and had his guard passed a dozen times while passing eight. That's the record of someone being kicked around by stronger fighters.
Putting this another way, he outstrikes opponents two to one as a lightweight, while being outstruck two to one as a welter. He passes guard four-and-a-half to one at 155 pounds, while getting passed three to two at 170. There just isn't any reason at all, other than a single transcendent night a long time ago when he choked out Matt Hughes, to think that he's a top fighter at welterweight. Saying he's anywhere near the title mix is a bit of marketing trickery, a diversion meant to obscure that he's been beaten twice by the champions of each of his two weight classes and that he is 3-3 in his last six fights.
Here is where you might repurpose Samuel Johnson's famous line and say that for a man of his size to fight against top-level welterweights is a like a dog walking on its hind legs: It may not be done well, but you're surprised to find it done at all. Expecting him to beat an animal like Fitch or St-Pierre, you might say, is missing the point. The whole joy is to be found in the situation, in watching just how much brass Penn has, in watching him fight fearlessly against men on whom he has essentially nothing.
MMA is, though, not some variety of performance art. The point is to win actual victories, not moral ones. It's interesting to watch Penn go up a weight class or three and not be embarrassed, just as it would be interesting to, say, see Manny Pacquaio survive Andre Ward. It would be at least as interesting to see him fighting opponents against whom he's properly matched, running up wins, proving he's among the best in the world by what, and not how, he does.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:45 PM   #2 (permalink)

 
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So much of the BJ hate is not substantiated. First off BJ is a small LW who could fight at FW if he wanted to meaning LW is stepping up a division, he has generally been the smaller guy in most of his LW fights. WW is two weight classes up and while his statistics don't compare you need to put your thinking cap on and realize he has fought 5 times at WW against two opponents who are the two greatest WW's in the history of the UFC if not the entire sport.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aren't the only people he has fought at WW Matt Hughes and GSP mostly in their primes the two greatest WWs ever. I wonder what the Fitch vs GSP and Fitch vs Everyone else stats look like because that is basically what he is doing with Penn.

Stupid article, Penn would smash guys like Dan Hardy and Chris Lytle who have been considered to be in title contention at WW and already destroyed the second best fighter Fitch has ever beaten in Diego Sanchez.

If weight matters so much why is Frankie Edgar the champion at LW right now. Gray Maynard should have been able to hold him down the entire fight right.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i think the author addressed the weight issue nicely. it doesnt make you a greater fighter by moving up and having a medicore record against the top guys. Better off staying at LW and dominating but that dream is dead it seems aslong as Frankie has the belt.

Im sure Manny P could hang with much heavier boxers too and box way out of his weight class and put up good fights. But why??? if you are the best then ppl come to you. He didnt clear out LW and move up, he got his ass beat and moved up. I dont applaud that and no matter how Fitch beats him ppl will say this "BJ is true FW" stuff and "this and that loss doesnt count really".....


if he is a true FW, now is the time to move to FW. I think you are fooling yourself thinking BJ could be disciplined enough to be a FW. He has all the talent but not the mindset of a great fighter. He hypes up all his fans with his big talk and then doesnt train properly or doesnt come mentally prepared.

I think BJ at this point is the greatest LW ever but he got basically ran out of his division by Frankie.


Rich Franklin was once considered the greatest MW ever, know what i mean?? He is still an all time great but you cant call him greatest ever in anything. BJ will go down in history like that unless he goes back to LW and beats Frankie, beats Maynard and somebody like Pettis. If he really wanted to go down all time for something, thats the only way. He is a decent WW but hardly the huge threat everybody making him out to be, he is gonna lose tommorow and then what?? where does he go from there??
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:03 PM   #5 (permalink)

 
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GSP has ran through his division and needs to fight Silva, Fedor is ducking the best and fighting bums, Anderson Silva is bored. BJ went up to WW and lost, he sucks. Can't please the fans I guess can they?
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the mentality of allot of mma fans has dropped completely off the deep end
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by SonOfZion View Post
i think the author addressed the weight issue nicely. it doesnt make you a greater fighter by moving up and having a medicore record against the top guys. Better off staying at LW and dominating but that dream is dead it seems aslong as Frankie has the belt.

Im sure Manny P could hang with much heavier boxers too and box way out of his weight class and put up good fights. But why??? if you are the best then ppl come to you. He didnt clear out LW and move up, he got his ass beat and moved up. I dont applaud that and no matter how Fitch beats him ppl will say this "BJ is true FW" stuff and "this and that loss doesnt count really".....


if he is a true FW, now is the time to move to FW. I think you are fooling yourself thinking BJ could be disciplined enough to be a FW. He has all the talent but not the mindset of a great fighter. He hypes up all his fans with his big talk and then doesnt train properly or doesnt come mentally prepared.

I think BJ at this point is the greatest LW ever but he got basically ran out of his division by Frankie.


Rich Franklin was once considered the greatest MW ever, know what i mean?? He is still an all time great but you cant call him greatest ever in anything. BJ will go down in history like that unless he goes back to LW and beats Frankie, beats Maynard and somebody like Pettis. If he really wanted to go down all time for something, thats the only way. He is a decent WW but hardly the huge threat everybody making him out to be, he is gonna lose tommorow and then what?? where does he go from there??
He got his ass beat? There was no ass beating in either fights. Frankie won the second fight convincly but there was no ass beating no matter how biased you want to be. Also, that first fight was close enough that it could have gone either way so people should stop talking as if it's impossible for BJ to beat Frankie. If you are so sure BJ is going to lose tomorrow, I hoped you bet your entire life savings along with your house on Jon Fitch then.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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He got his ass beat? There was no ass beating in either fights. Frankie won the second fight convincly but there was no ass beating no matter how biased you want to be. Also, that first fight was close enough that it could have gone either way so people should stop talking as if it's impossible for BJ to beat Frankie. If you are so sure BJ is going to lose tomorrow, I hoped you bet your entire life savings along with your house on Jon Fitch then.
lol dont get so upset. I did bet a little $ on Fitch but i would never bet my life savings on a fight, that is ridiculous. I thought it was clear Frankie won the 1st fight and very clear he won the 2nd fight. I think he should be a prohibitive favorite against BJ if he comes back to LW where he belongs after he loses to Fitch.

Why doesnt he go fight Aldo since ppl are so fond of saying he is a FW??? Penn vs Aldo would sell big and then BJ can be 0-5 against champions of 3 divisions, proving he is the GOAT.

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Old 02-25-2011, 11:25 PM   #9 (permalink)

 
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Aldo hasn't beaten anybody to write home about, he looked great but his only proven opponent was Faber who would be a mediocre LW.
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Old 02-25-2011, 11:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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so you think BJ should be a favorite vs Aldo at FW??
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